Celebrating Advent as a Student

Open Present

By: Lee Copeland, Educational Leadership Alumnus

With all of the hustle and bustle of the pre-Christmas season, we may sometimes miss that the weeks leading up to Christmas are more than just a sprint to December 25. In our lives dominated by the rhythms of Black Friday and class finals, we can easily overlook the ancient tradition of preparing and waiting for Christmas called Advent.

For more than 1,500 years, people of Christian faith have made the conscious choice to orient their lives to a faith-based calendar that begins with a season of reflection and preparation for Christmas called Advent. The word “advent” literally means “coming.”

Advent is a season in which we recognize that big changes are on the horizon. The opportunity is at hand for us to live differently in the world, transforming everything. No matter what we’re facing—no matter how dark things are—we anticipate a day in which light will illuminate our lives and make all things new. As we’re waiting for the new life of Christmas, it seems like all we can do is “hurry and up and wait.”

I learned how to “hurry up and wait” when I was working through a graduate degree as a working adult. I had begun a journey that was going to change my life. I was moving toward new possibilities and opportunities—but some days it seemed as if I might never reach my goals. Fortunately, I was not alone on this journey.

My classmates took turns encouraging and supporting one another through papers and presentations. Slow step by slow step, we worked toward a new day. Without realizing it, through all the hours spent, we really were moving toward the realization of a life-changing accomplishment. Rather than being paralyzed by the anxiousness of not-yet-realized hopes, we were all waiting and moving ahead, even though at times it felt like we were standing still.

In this period of advent, take time to enjoy each day. Even if life feels dark and broken while we wait to celebrate our savior’s birth, a new day is coming. Don’t give up. Get up. Get moving and “hurry up and wait.” Christmas IS coming!

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